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Climate Change Caused California Drought

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on April 14, 2015 at 5:02 PM

Originally published on U.S. News & World Report on April 14, 2015 by Jeff Nesbit.

The science behind the drought is unquestionable.

A lot has been written about the California drought. A lot.

Sadly, and a bit surprisingly, very little of it touches on the climate connection. Which is too bad, because there are some obvious (and not-so-obvious) science-based studies that touch on the unfolding disaster – with implications for what the future holds for the most populous state in the United States.

As California settles into its fourth year of scant rainfall and record-breaking high temperatures, the state’s snowpack accumulation is record low at 5 percent of the historical average, according to the April 1 measurement when snowpack is normally at its peak, around 28 inches. Snowpack accumulations in 2014 — the state’s hottest and third driest year on record — also stood at, or near record lows, and by June 1, there was virtually no snowpack to replenish state reservoirs. Already in 2015, 93 percent of the state is experiencing drought conditions ranked “severe” or worse — conditions that 100 percent of the state experienced in 2014. The official water allocation dictated by the state’s water management authority for 2015-16 will only meet 20 percent of the water requests from cities and agriculture, and the big reservoirs that provide the bulk of the state’s water remain much lower than normal.

Altogether, the drought stands as the worst to hit the state in 1,200 years.

Read the full story here: